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Niece and the car...

September 3rd, 2008 at 03:41 pm

or, should I say, Niece and MY car??
...for clarification, I mean...
back when she finished highschool, I was paying transportation from school to home for Ale... since Niece was going to start going to the university and this posed a logistical difficulty for her and my sis (classes at Uni NOT being built around parents' workschedules!), I decided (nobody asked) that it was a great win-win-win-win (me, sis, niece, and even Ale) if I left the car at home after dropping Ale off at school, so that Niece could go to her classes, provided she choose her schedules in such a way that she could always (or at least 98% of the time!) go pick up Ale between 2:45 and 3:15pm...Also, I was to be given a copy of the schedule so I knew which days she had classes after 5pm, so I would know the car wouldn't be available on those days, and so I could plan my needs around it...Well, Niece has since stopped going to the university (no, she didn't finish, but sis had warned her she would only pay for 1 year uni, and sis' sleazy ex-hub had promised to take care of it all, and now, of course, he's not paying...that's a whole separate entry!)...

Guess what? while most days I DON'T use the car anyway, it's already happened 3 times that when I need the car after work, it's not there...and Niece just "forgot" to tell me...well, #1 she's not going to classes, #2 she's not working - or REALLY looking for a job, #3 If it's a matter where she needs the car and I have it, she DOES find a way to call and let me know....how come she cannot call and ASK if she can use the car past 5?...#4 since she's not studying or working, why can't she plan her activities for, say between 9am and 2pm? Oh, that's right, that would interfere with her sleep schedule...

I was sooo mad yesterday, I just asked her for the keys and told her to forget about the car....I'm asking for permission at work to go pick up Ale for the next 2 weeks. After that, I'll see whether it isn't more financially sound to actually re-hire transportation (sis does give her some gas money, but let's remember there's more to keeping a car "drivable" than just gas!...and those bills are "all mine"!...)

Yes, there's more to it than just the car issue...but, no, I don't see why I have to make sacrifices to accomodate her way of life or her schedule...

School books being held "hostage"

August 15th, 2008 at 04:13 pm

The books the school ordered from the US back in May have to pay about $2K in taxes, something that has never happened before (1. they are books. Books are now tax exempt. Or were, at least until the beginning of this year. 2. They are for a school, again, that should make them tax exempt, or at least tax deferred- don't aske me to describe the way our VAT operates, it's really strange, or so I'm told!)...Anyway, the school is trying to solve the problem and, in the meantime, children should bring their old textbooks....oops, I don't know if Ale still has them in one piece (she refuses to throw them away, but she likes to cut out pictures and stuff!)

Uniforms for Ale...

August 13th, 2008 at 08:18 am

Yep. She needs new ones...she outgrew most of the stuff...
she is down to 1 skort, 1 shirt, 1 t-shirt and 1 pair of pants...

I already bought the material to have 1 skort made...and I gave her $25 today, which I hope will cover 1 shirt, 1 t-shirt and 1 pair of paints...if not, I told her to get the shirts and I'll give her the money for the pants later on (PE classes on Fridays and Tuesdays, only, so...)

Ale's school shoes

August 8th, 2008 at 09:08 am

In February, Ale needed new shoes for school. I bought her a size 2 pair, which were a bit large for her at the time, and, since they were having a 2X1, I bought a size 3 pair for the new school year (starting next week)...sis said I was exagerating and that I would probably have to save the size 3 shoes for the FOLLOWING year (Aug 09)...turns out, I was right! Those size 3 shoes are the perfect size right now (which means I will probably hit the 2X1 sale in Sept/Oct for a size 4 and size 5! LOL!)...oh, yes, those size 3 shoes also fit my sis! LOL!

Almost ready for school again!

July 25th, 2008 at 09:12 am

Remember I was buying notebooks and school supplies waaaay in advance? ...I'm now almost finished with all the purchases (need 6 pencils and 1 English-English Dictionary....Ale's "got lost from her back pack"...)...I also finished labeling most of her stuff (need to label 24 pencils- yuech!) and I bound all her notebooks in plastic cover last night (now I "only" need to bind the books, which we have not received yet...Oh, and she needs a couple new containers for her lunch box...

so, my shopping list is>

6 pencils
1 English/ English dictionary
2 small food containers

YAY!...I still haven't added the last things I bought, so I still don't know how much I really spent...

Oooops, forgot the uniforms!...some pieces are in bad shape, and others have been outgrown...but, I'll get these during the first week of school!

The sandwiches

June 18th, 2008 at 10:07 am

Well, the chicken pate probably cost about $3.15 to make...but I didn't even use up half of it!...so, let's say $1.50 ...and $1.35 for the bread...the 12 sandwiches cost us $1.85...or about $0.15 each!...
When we made them for sale, they were even cheaper, because I would buy the bread at the factory on sale for $0.60...yesterday I opted for buying it in the little corner store (which is always more expensive than supermarkets, even! that same bread would have cost me $1.25 at the supermarket) ...but I saved the cost of gas- going to the factory or even to the supermarket for 1 loaf of bread would have been crazy!

Ale was so very happy!...even happier because there was leftover chicken pate...which means we get to have sandwiches for dinner! ...since this is the pate Mom would make for our "pinata" sandwiches, they are extra special for us!

"they won't cost much, we'll make them at home"

June 17th, 2008 at 01:55 pm

this is what my daughter told the teacher after she (my daughter) offered to be in charge of bringing 12 chicken sandwiches to their "last day of school" party...
the teacher had originally asked her to bring in paper plates and chips...and when Ale offered to bring the sandwiches as well, the teacher worried it would be too much of an expense...
oh, well, they WILL be home-made, so obviously not as expensive as buying chicken sandwiches...or even buying the chicken pate to make sandwiches, since we cook from scratch!...(Ale has a good idea how much they cost, because she knows we used to sell them at 3 for $1...and this left us a profit, so...)

payments today!

June 6th, 2008 at 04:07 pm

I went to pay Ale's school tuition for June ($137, due June 10th) and also a cc so I can FINALLY close it! ($10...but i have to wait until tomorrow to close it)..then went to get my balance in the cc I used to pay for the car - just to cross check...then I went and printed our photos...we already put Ale's autograph/photo book together...it looks awesome!...I also had to buy some juice boxes and milk boxes for Ale's snacks and lunch at school...it has been a "spendy" day of sorts...but I'm hoping to have a NSD tomorrow!...

oh, and i also had to pay Nanny, because although it was sis' turn to pay her (we alternate every 2 weeks), but she didn't, and Nanny asked me if she could borrow $20 from me...I opted for giving her her full $83, as I know sis will give it to me later...I just don't like the thought of Nanny, who has to get by on so little, being paid late!)

I am still translating...these ones will bring about $100 each, so about $400...that will be enough to cover the additional money we spent and to pay $100 more towards debt ...

I also learned that I "lost" a translation job because they tried to drop it off on Wednesday, but they needed it for Thursday night, and, needless to say, with me ARRIVING Thursday night, they opted to take it to someone else!...oh, well, I really needed my rest yesterday!

Happy International Women's Day!

March 8th, 2008 at 08:44 pm

March 8th is International Women's Day...
congratulations to all!

we did have a nice celebration...I convinced sis of going to lunch using a special promo from our grocery store club card...you could get a special plate to share among 3 people for just $18 ...and we bought a plate from the children's menu for Ale for $5...this was at a very good restaurant (it's not fancy, but the food is GREAT!)...we even had leftovers to bring home for tomorrow's lunch! yum!...(LOL! you should have seen niece's face when I pulled out my flyer detailing the special promo and saying: we will have THIS one!)...she did enjoy the food and declared herself "stuffed" in the end...but, for a moment there I thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head!

Also, since our freezer was full, my grocery shopping at the supemarket was ~$50!...woo-hoo!...tomorrow I have to go to the market to get the veggies, fruit and cheese...so that'll add ~$15-$20...still, last time I spent $85 just at the supermarket, so...

oh, and the supermarket had a 20% all "special store" items (hardware, clothing, SCHOOL SUPPLIES), so we finished buying Ale's notebooks (at least, I think we did...since I don't have a list yet, I bought the same amount of notebooks that we bought for THIS school year... I don't imagine them using LESS notebooks for the coming school year...MAYBE they'll ask for MORE, but, then, I'll just have to buy those extra ones...

Funny as it may sound, school supplies are cheaper now that they are "off season" than they were while "on sale" in January....

Oh, and I showed Ale that there was a $0.20 - $0.40 difference between notebook A, with a generic cover (say: picture of 2 cute cats and 1 puppy) and notebook B (with licensed character on the cover)...both notebooks were the same size, had the same amount of pages/sheets, same format (lined, in this case), binding was sewn, rather than stapled for both notebooks, same quality of paper...

Her opinion?....Mom, that's so dumb! you could buy the cheap one and, if you're really so crazy about the licensed character then use stickers or gift paper decorated with the licensed character and it would stil be much cheaper!...((had to brag, sorry!))

Oh, we also did some unbudgeted shopping....

1. we bought a bright orange fish...yes, we already have 32+, but ours are so pale...so...silvery...so we bought a bright orange one of the same kind... it cost $2...and hopefully it'll reproduce with the other ones and give me a chance to explain to Ale about genetics...who knows, there might come a day when I'll have to buy a silver fish to introduce some fresh genes into our all-orange tank!

2. I've been looking for flip-flops for Ale and myself (remember those neat "lemon" ones Santa brought for Xmas 2006?...well, after over a year of daily wear- we use them inside the house, and for the beach, too- they were pretty much useless ....AND we found ones on sale at $2.80 (adult sizes) and $2.40 (children sizes)...I bought a pair for myself, a pair for sis (hers were useless, too) and a pair for Ale...my total was $7.60 (sis still wears children size 4! LOL!)...I didn't get a pair for niece because she has about 10 pairs (of which she only wears 1!) courtesy of her dad ....(he won't pay for textbooks, but flip flops...oh, yes, a girl can't have too many flip flops!)....

Well, as you can see, it was a pretty full day!...and quite spendy, but, to make up for it, tomorrow we are going to a special theater show at the Museum...it's a special play for children....and it's FREE!

Ale found more coupons!

March 7th, 2008 at 10:58 am

She was so proud yesterday...the newspaper once again had an insert with coupons for 10% off 1 article at the dept store...she showed me, and she told me we could go to another branch of the store to look for school supplies!

I was off by $0.55!

March 6th, 2008 at 07:04 am

we had the parents assembly last night at Ale's school...as per the CURRENT law (a reform has already been submitted), the assemby was to INFORM us that the tuition will be increased... (I knew that, I had actually asked at the beginning of this school year)...tentatively, my budget shows $157/month for Ale's monthly school fees starting August...the new monthly fee for her grade has been set at $157.55 ...and I had actually allocated $400 for the enrollment fee, and that will be $349...

the reform to the law establishes that the parents assembly is to ASK the parents and there has to be a vote of X% in favor to pass it...

Ale's grades

March 1st, 2008 at 12:35 pm

The school's Open House was yesterday...Ale made the Honor Roll again (didn't the past period)...spoke to all her teachers and they all agree she's taking advantage of her intelligence and good retentive to try to use the "law of minimum effort"...meaning she's not working as hard as she should and not doing as much as she could...this is tough, because her grades are great...her lowest grade is 80....and that is penmanship...still, I talked to her and told her she cannot be fooling around instead of working (she HAS been bringing a lot of work home, as she has had to make up for all that she didn't do at school!...plus her regular homework...)...she's promised she'll work at school and try to finish THERE ...that way we can spend OUR time together at home having fun instead of doing work she should have done at school...we'll see how it goes...anyway, now I know what's going on and we agreed to work together on this problem with the teachers, too!...